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30 September 2009 at 11:52
The expectancy and joy of a new life brings hope. Unfortunately this is not always the case when a pregnancy ends through miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or termination for abnormalities. Thankfully, such instances are rare, but nevertheless they still bring about deep feelings of despair and grief. Baby loss is one of the most traumatic experiences a family can go through. The midwives at Ormskirk & District General Hospital wish to ensure that parents and families are sensitively supported at this most difficult time.

Subsequently, the role of the midwife in such circumstances is to give support, be it emotional or physical, to offer guidance and comfort and assisting to make some sense of such a difficult and traumatic experience. Albeit, not just for the mother and father, but the extended family too. Such a loss can have a huge rippling impact on everyone involved, triggering lots of varied emotions.

Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust would like to invite bereaved parents and families who have experienced a baby loss to come together with our specialist Bereavement Team to share their experiences and listen to their thoughts on how we can improve the support we offer.

Midwife Rachel Johnston of the Bereavement Team commented, "The term 'Midwife' comes from the Latin meaning ‘with woman’. At Ormskirk we feel grateful, despite the trauma, numbness and the unreality parents must be feeling, to be able help transform a birth where a baby dies into a life-lasting memory.

"Midwives encourage parents to see, touch, hold and spend time with their babies, although we always respect the parents' wishes if they do not want to. Midwives help parents to come to decisions about the creation of memories of the baby by taking photos, hand and foot prints, naming the baby and placing these in a remembrance box. Such special memories can begin to help with grieving.

"In order to meet the needs of our families, we want to extend the role so we can offer bereavement support for families that continues even after they have left the hospital; educating on grief and loss, showing families their emotions and feelings they experience are normal in their time of a loss."

On Saturday 3rd October, three of the midwives are climbing Mt Snowdon (over 3000ft) to raise awareness and funds for the Bereavement Focus Group at Ormskirk & District General Hospital. Rachel Johnston, Lesley Fawcett and Julie Stein; will tackle the 10 mile-long climb, taking approximately 6 hours from Llanberis. This is the most popular of the tourist routes up Snowdon and also the longest. They hope to raise enough funds to get the little things they need to offer and create those cherished life-long memories.

If you have any experience or thoughts you would like to share with the Bereavement Team or wish to support or help fund the Bereavement Focus Group, please contact midwife

Notes to Editors

Picture shows from left Lesley Fawcett, Rachel Johnston and Julie Stein preparing for their assault on Mt Snowdon.

Issued by Matthew King, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust.

Enquiries to: Matthew King Tel: 01704 704714